The SNP Government’s 2018/19 Draft Scottish Budget proposal as announced by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP last Thursday, protects low and middle-income earners and delivers for public services and public-sector workers.
Despite a challenging financial settlement, with the UK Tory Government cutting Scotland’s resource budget this year by a further £211 million, the budget delivers progressive reforms to Scotland’s income tax system, in the form of modest increases on high earners while 70% of taxpayers will pay either the same or less than they do now.
And 55% of Scottish taxpayers will pay less tax than anywhere else in the UK.
The budget includes significant continued investment in education in the form of £243 million for expanding free early learning and childcare; £179 million to raise attainment and £88 million to protect teacher numbers.
On the economy, a host of announcements were made, from increasing investment in research and development by 70% to increasing rates relief for businesses to £720 million next year.
Local MSP Kenneth Gibson commented:
“This is a budget for a stronger economy and a fairer, more equal society, with increased funding for our NHS and protection for low and middle-income earners.
“The SNP Government is delivering lower income tax for the vast majority of Scots, with every worker earning less than £33,000 paying less in tax next year, whilst protecting essential public services.
“Scotland is also the only nation in the UK to lift the public sector pay cap, with a 3% increase for people earning up to £30,000, 2% for those earning up to £80,000 - excepting MSPs who will receive a 0.6% increase - and no more than a £1,600 increase for those earning more than that.
“This budget also brings an additional £373 million for our NHS, with investment in affordable housing rocketing from £739 million to £891.6 million; a thumping 21% increase!
“Total investment in infrastructure will be £3,807 million.
“This budget will help meet the challenges facing Scotland while paving the way for continued economic growth and future prosperity.”
The Draft Budget 2018/19 can be found here: